The first sign of spring? For some it’s the lengthening amount of daylight. Or the spikes of the daffodils poking up from the sections of garden that get the most sun. Or the appearance of relatively local asparagus in the market. But for us, it’s the return of the ducks to the ponds in our front yard. We have a vernal pond that fills with winter’s snow and rain and is still, this brutal winter (2011), frozen and inhospitable. But a low-lying section of our lawn collects melting snow and other precipitation and provides what we call the “wrong pond” for the returning flocks. This year we’ve seen more than ever before. A good sign. Can this mean winter is really, unbelievably on its way out? Jay, Scottish and economical, wonders if there is any way we can catch and eat the ducks. A bad sign.